Coming Home

Hello friends! I know, I know… I haven’t written in forever!  I’m sorry about that, but the last couple weeks of our home leave in the US passed by in a flash.  We enjoyed a wonderful visit with Mark’s family at the beach in North Carolina and then a great week in Denver with my Pa & my brother.  We stayed so busy that I barely made time to max out my grocery purchases so I could… stuff my luggage full of everything we need to sustain us while we’re away for another 10 months.

Or wait… is it “home” for another 10 months??

As ex-pats, the lines are sometimes confusing in this area.  We are indeed “3rd culture kids”… meaning that we’re from one country, we live in another, and sometimes feel we belong everywhere and nowhere at once.  I know my ex-pat friends can relate.  We need our annual home leave like flowers need sunshine… and everyone can tell when it’s getting close by how cranky we are a few weeks before our scheduled flights.  We crave being surrounded by family, friends, food, & culture that blanket us with all things familiar.  Oh, to blend in!!! To communicate in subtle nuances!!  To just “get it”…  it’s so deeply satisfying.

For instance, I just love pulling into the Wal-Mart parking lot and strolling my cart down aisles so wide I don’t have to suck in my breath just to pass another shopper.  (Yup, I realise most of those aisles are filled with junk food, but then the kids do need their summertime stock of Goldfish and Toaster Strudels.)

Or sitting on our balcony in our Steamboat condo, breathing in the impossibly crisp evening air, watching the sunset and hearing… nothing.  Just the quiet hum of a peaceful evening.  It makes me feel like the world is big & open and full of endless possibilities.

Or floating down the Yampa River in a rubber inner tube, kicking at the icy cold water with my toes & sliding over the slippery rocks at the whim of the gentle current.  These are the days of summer… long and carefree and immersed in golden light.

But I have to tell you, that as great as this past summer was, I’m glad to be back.  It feels like home here in Alabang.  As I stood at the kitchen sink the other day, watching the washing blow on the line outside, my eyes almost blinded by the brilliant green of the surrounding trees, I felt a sense of overwhelming peace and comfort knowing that this is where I belong for now.  I’m content.  My family and friends are here.  This is where Mark and I are raising our children, where I teach bootcamp & cooking classes, where we laugh and play and cry and hug.  This is home, because this is where we’ve invested.

Like other ex-pats, we never know how long we’ll be here.  But we’ll call this place home for now… we’ll keep choosing to live and invest and make a difference… until that day comes when we’re called to make our home someplace else.

But for now, WELCOME HOME!!

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